Martin Burns takes lead in 8-round Swiss Rapidplay Annual Competition

Last night saw the 2nd of 4 nights of our Swiss Rapidplay, at another packed club night. Events officer David Hulme announced it was a record turnout for the Swiss Rapidplay, as 30 of the 40 entrants braced the arctic weather to attend the 3rd and 4th rounds, surpassing our previous highest of 25 members for this competition on a single evening.

As usual it was pretty chaotic at the start of the night, as 3 members arrived to play unexpectedly, causing a revision to the swiss pairings, but everyone was keen and patient as play got underway a few minutes later than planned. Leading into Round 3 we had just 5 players on 100%, and 2 of these were absent due to work and afforded half point byes for Rounds 3 & 4. On board 1 Martin Burns emerged from the single battle of the 100% ers with a win against the talented Rick Renegade, and newcomer Richard Fish (the only other 100%) was held to a draw by the experienced Neville Layhe on board 2, leaving Martin with the only 3 out of 3 record. Youngster George Bulbeck beat Andrew Crosby on board 3, to move into second place on 2.5 pts. Boards 4 to 12 all contained the 50% ers, where most results went in favour of the higher seeds, with a couple of draws and no upsets. The remaining boards 13 to 15 all went the way of the higher seeds.

Round 4 saw the top board competed by No.2 seed Martin and George Bulbeck (seeded 24), with Martin gaining superiority early on before converting for the full point. On the next board Richard Fish (2.5 pts) was paired with Rick the highest seed on 2pts, and found Rick’s aggressive opening too hot to handle as he lost his unbeaten record in the Rapidplay. With 8 more players on 2 out of 3, there were wins for Doug Barnett, Karl Lockett and Carmel Barwick to move onto 3 points alongside Rick, Bart Fajfer and defending champion Jarek Czyz. With all players registering on the scoreboard, it was great to see the youngest player on the night – Malakai Swift earning his first points with a draw.

Rounds 5 & 6 are now scheduled for Wednesday 1st March, which is our first Wednesday in 2023 without a league match taking place at The Mals. The final night will depend on when we can find another free Wednesday which looks like being in May.

Next week (Wed 21st Dec) is our social night, where club chairman Dave Price will be leading the fun and games against the Mals Bar Team in a mix of pub games with a buffet provided for all.

Full details of the Swiss Rapidplay (and all our Internal competitions) can be found from the link on the website home page headed “Internal Comps”